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Westmoreland food handlers’ clinics reopen today


MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Westmoreland Health Department will be resuming its food handlers’ clinics on a phased basis effective today, Monday, June 15.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness ordered the suspension of food handlers’ training at clinics in March to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus and allow public health nurses and inspectors to assist in the contact tracing process for those exposed to the virus.
Chief public health inspector for Westmoreland Steve Morris told JIS News that with the reopening of the tourism sector in particular “people will need these permits to continue working, by law”.

He said the clinics will be held at Georges Plain, Petersfield, Bluefields and Darliston health centres, which have been closed to other health services.

The training clinics will run from Monday to Thursday with two sessions per day.
“So we are going to do a phased reopening using the required COVID-19 guidelines. We would have in place social distancing, checking temperatures, sanitising hands, and all the safety requirements under COVID-19,” he said.

“Training will start at 9:00 am. The numbers are going to be small based on the numbers that the facility can hold. At Georges Plain I think it can only accommodate 10 persons,” he continued.

The chief public health inspector added that the clinics will first accommodate some 400 individuals who had made appointments for their food handler’s permit prior to suspension of the services.

He said those individuals have been contacted by the health department and their appointments scheduled.

Morris is encouraging members of the public who wish to apply for their food handler’s permit to contact the Westmoreland Health Department.

“Other persons should call in and we will be making appointments for them going forward. They should not turn up at the health centres but should call, and they will be given a date and a time to come to the clinic. When they come to the clinic, they will take the required documents and they make the payment and do the training,” he added.

— JIS

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